The NUJ today warned employers that journalists should not be compelled to go out to cover cases of reported swine flu infection.
The union has also called on members covering swine flu outbreaks to ensure they are well informed about protecting themselves from the virus.
It is advising members to check official information sources on a regular basis to keep up to date with advice about infection prevention. The union’s advice for members who have to go out to addresses of swine flu cases is:
Check the latest official advice on a daily basis. Information sources include the Health Protection Agency and Health and Safety Executive;
Only volunteer to go out to report on cases of infection if you feel comfortable in doing so. No employee should be required to attend;
Where appropriate, consider the use of facemasks if you do go out to report on cases of infection;
Chapels should oppose any proposed disciplinary action taken for refusal to attend.
The NUJ says organisations have a ‘duty of care’ to their employees and NUJ health and safety reps should ask management to carry out risk assessments.